Why I can't stop thinking about Baton Rouge
Katrina has us all thinking about New Orleans, a great American city obliterated just like that. Yet today my mind keeps drifting to Baton Rouge. Reports say that the state capital, about 70 miles west of New Orleans, with a population of about 400,000, may double in population. Instantly and permanently. Baton Rouge City Councilman Mike Walker said this, and I found myself dazed and suddenly heartbroken for a place I have never laid eyes on: "The Baton Rouge we live in and grew up in is no longer. These people are here to stay, perhaps forever." I guess in that instant I supplanted the word Richmond, wondering what it would be like for external forces beyond anyone's control to just transform —- no, metamorphose —- or maybe even transmogrify? — your home. For your city to change overnight, just like that. But then it begged a larger question, one that maybe you all would care to weigh in on. Would we want that transformation even over a decade, or two? Do we ever want to be double our size?